Fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania

Written by:
May 18, 2022
Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

Fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People’s reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.” In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this “increased decrease.”

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in Pennsylvania. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

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#50. Clarion County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,747
--- #2,955 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.9%
--- #57 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,595 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 37,241
--- #57 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,242 largest county nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Greene County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,732
--- #2,951 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.1%
--- #59 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,626 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 35,954
--- #58 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,283 largest county nationwide
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#48. Bradford County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,655
--- #2,938 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.2%
--- #44 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,201 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 59,967
--- #41 largest county in Pennsylvania, #874 largest county nationwide
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Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Columbia County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,568
--- #2,930 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.8%
--- #42 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,135 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 64,727
--- #40 largest county in Pennsylvania, #834 largest county nationwide
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Beaver County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,324
--- #2,892 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.4%
--- #30 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,721 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 168,215
--- #21 largest county in Pennsylvania, #400 largest county nationwide

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Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Union County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,266
--- #2,883 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.0%
--- #50 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,337 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 42,681
--- #50 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,128 largest county nationwide
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Michael J // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Wyoming County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,207
--- #2,873 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.8%
--- #62 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,700 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 26,069
--- #60 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,554 largest county nationwide
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Canadian2006 // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Bedford County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,185
--- #2,867 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.4%
--- #45 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,223 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 47,577
--- #45 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,028 largest county nationwide
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User:Ruhrfisch // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Lycoming County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,923
--- #2,822 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.7%
--- #32 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,776 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 114,188
--- #29 largest county in Pennsylvania, #543 largest county nationwide
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Joe Calzarette // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Huntingdon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,821
--- #2,800 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.0%
--- #43 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,159 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 44,092
--- #49 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,096 largest county nationwide

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#40. Clinton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,788
--- #2,794 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.6%
--- #46 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,253 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 37,450
--- #56 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,235 largest county nationwide
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Andrew Rodland // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Wayne County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,667
--- #2,752 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.2%
--- #38 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,022 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 51,155
--- #43 largest county in Pennsylvania, #976 largest county nationwide
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Monroe County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,515
--- #2,710 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.9%
--- #27 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,639 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 168,327
--- #20 largest county in Pennsylvania, #398 largest county nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Juniata County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,127
--- #2,575 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.6%
--- #47 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,258 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 23,509
--- #61 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,657 largest county nationwide
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Clearfield County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,080
--- #2,545 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.3%
--- #29 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,709 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 80,562
--- #36 largest county in Pennsylvania, #708 largest county nationwide

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Potter County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,061
--- #2,533 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.1%
--- #55 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,478 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 16,396
--- #63 largest county in Pennsylvania, #2,009 largest county nationwide
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#34. Elk County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -956
--- #2,473 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.0%
--- #36 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,996 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 30,990
--- #59 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,403 largest county nationwide
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#33. Tioga County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -936
--- #2,457 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.2%
--- #34 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,885 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 41,045
--- #51 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,159 largest county nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Forest County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -743
--- #2,354 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.6%
--- #65 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,834 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 6,973
--- #65 largest county in Pennsylvania, #2,661 largest county nationwide
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Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Jefferson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -708
--- #2,337 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.6%
--- #31 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,759 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 44,492
--- #48 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,085 largest county nationwide

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Sullivan County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -588
--- #2,234 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.1%
--- #64 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,805 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 5,840
--- #66 largest county in Pennsylvania, #2,747 largest county nationwide
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Mifflin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -539
--- #2,186 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.2%
--- #28 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,682 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 46,143
--- #46 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,051 largest county nationwide
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Cameron County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -538
--- #2,185 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -10.6%
--- #66 among counties in Pennsylvania, #2,902 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 4,547
--- #67 largest county in Pennsylvania, #2,851 largest county nationwide
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#27. Carbon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -500
--- #2,150 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.8%
--- #26 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,609 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 64,749
--- #39 largest county in Pennsylvania, #833 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Fulton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -289
--- #1,900 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.9%
--- #33 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,833 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,556
--- #64 largest county in Pennsylvania, #2,112 largest county nationwide

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Montour County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -131
--- #1,674 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.7%
--- #25 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,598 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 18,136
--- #62 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,910 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Perry County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -127
--- #1,667 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.3%
--- #24 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,539 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 45,842
--- #47 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,059 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Snyder County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +34
--- #1,450 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.1%
--- #23 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,474 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 39,736
--- #53 largest county in Pennsylvania, #1,185 largest county nationwide
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#22. Pike County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,166
--- #965 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.0%
--- #19 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,178 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 58,535
--- #42 largest county in Pennsylvania, #893 largest county nationwide
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#21. Lackawanna County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,459
--- #915 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.7%
--- #22 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,383 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 215,896
--- #17 largest county in Pennsylvania, #319 largest county nationwide

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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Washington County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,529
--- #897 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.7%
--- #21 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,373 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 209,349
--- #18 largest county in Pennsylvania, #326 largest county nationwide
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Pixabay

#19. Adams County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,445
--- #755 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.4%
--- #17 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,128 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 103,852
--- #31 largest county in Pennsylvania, #588 largest county nationwide
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Centre County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,182
--- #614 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.7%
--- #16 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,093 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 158,172
--- #22 largest county in Pennsylvania, #426 largest county nationwide
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#17. Luzerne County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,676
--- #583 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +1.5%
--- #20 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,258 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 325,594
--- #12 largest county in Pennsylvania, #220 largest county nationwide
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#16. Franklin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +6,314
--- #524 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.2%
--- #13 among counties in Pennsylvania, #905 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 155,932
--- #23 largest county in Pennsylvania, #434 largest county nationwide

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Lebanon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +9,689
--- #434 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.3%
--- #2 among counties in Pennsylvania, #610 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 143,257
--- #24 largest county in Pennsylvania, #461 largest county nationwide
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Mvincec // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Butler County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +9,901
--- #426 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.4%
--- #8 among counties in Pennsylvania, #785 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 193,763
--- #19 largest county in Pennsylvania, #349 largest county nationwide
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Shuvaev // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Northampton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +15,216
--- #345 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.1%
--- #9 among counties in Pennsylvania, #808 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 312,951
--- #13 largest county in Pennsylvania, #228 largest county nationwide
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Berks County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +17,407
--- #315 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.2%
--- #12 among counties in Pennsylvania, #904 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 428,849
--- #9 largest county in Pennsylvania, #166 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Delaware County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +17,851
--- #313 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.2%
--- #15 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,026 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 576,830
--- #5 largest county in Pennsylvania, #120 largest county nationwide

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Rina Pitucci // Flickr

#10. Dauphin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +18,301
--- #309 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.8%
--- #6 among counties in Pennsylvania, #646 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 286,401
--- #14 largest county in Pennsylvania, #244 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Bucks County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +21,289
--- #278 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.4%
--- #14 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,000 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 646,538
--- #4 largest county in Pennsylvania, #107 largest county nationwide
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#8. York County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +21,466
--- #276 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.9%
--- #11 among counties in Pennsylvania, #828 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 456,438
--- #8 largest county in Pennsylvania, #158 largest county nationwide
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#7. Cumberland County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,063
--- #254 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.2%
--- #1 among counties in Pennsylvania, #405 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 259,469
--- #16 largest county in Pennsylvania, #272 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lehigh County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +25,060
--- #248 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.2%
--- #3 among counties in Pennsylvania, #620 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 374,557
--- #10 largest county in Pennsylvania, #194 largest county nationwide

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ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#5. Allegheny County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +27,230
--- #235 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.2%
--- #18 among counties in Pennsylvania, #1,148 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,250,578
--- #2 largest county in Pennsylvania, #36 largest county nationwide
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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lancaster County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +33,539
--- #188 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.5%
--- #7 among counties in Pennsylvania, #667 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 552,984
--- #6 largest county in Pennsylvania, #126 largest county nationwide
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Camerafiend // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Chester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +35,527
--- #181 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.1%
--- #4 among counties in Pennsylvania, #623 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 534,413
--- #7 largest county in Pennsylvania, #133 largest county nationwide
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Douglas Muth // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Montgomery County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +56,679
--- #112 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.1%
--- #5 among counties in Pennsylvania, #626 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 856,553
--- #3 largest county in Pennsylvania, #73 largest county nationwide
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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Philadelphia County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +77,791
--- #73 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.1%
--- #10 among counties in Pennsylvania, #813 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,603,797
--- #1 largest county in Pennsylvania, #23 largest county nationwide

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